Is From Scratch’s Lino Inspired by Tembi Locke’s Husband? How Did He Die?

Image Credit: Aaron Epstein/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘From Scratch’ follows the story of Amy and Lino. They have a dreamy summer romance in Florence, and it looks like their love story is pulled straight out of a fairy tale. However, life throws a lot of challenges in their path, one that tests their love for each other along with their strength and patience to survive in the face of all odds. What starts out as a swoon-worthy tale of love soon turns into a tragic story.

Lino, who comes to America with the hope of starting a new life with Amy while chasing the dream of opening a new restaurant, finds himself in a position where a lot of things are taken away from him. Still, it doesn’t take away his kind and generous spirit and does nothing to dampen his charm and love for his family and friends. If you are wondering whether his character is inspired by a real-life person, then here’s what you should know.

Lino is Based on Tembi Locke’s Late Husband, Saro Gullo

Yes, Lino in ‘From Scratch’ is based on Rosario “Saro” Gullo, the real-life late husband of Tembi Locke. The Netflix series is inspired by Locke’s book, ‘From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home’. Tembi and Saro met in Florence, where she had been living as a part of the foreign exchange program and he had been working as a chef. One day, while Tembi was walking down a street with a friend, she stumbled into Saro, much like it happens in the show. It was later that he told her that it was love at first sight for him.

“I always thought that was so cliché. But he often told that story of like ‘I just knew’ and I was all like, ‘are you kidding me? How did you just know?’ He’s like, ‘No, no, no, I knew”,” Tembi said. Saro was from a traditional Sicilian family and already had a difficult relationship with them. Falling in love with an American made matters worse. His family didn’t approve of the relationship because of their beliefs about the frequency of divorces in American marriages and the fact that Tembi was black, along with several other things.

Despite his wishes, Saro couldn’t persuade his family to let go of their prejudice, and they never showed up at the wedding. Following the wedding, the couple moved to Los Angeles where they pursued their dreams. Tembi was working as an actress, while Saro focused on his culinary career. Things took a difficult turn in 2002 when Saro was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of soft-tissue cancer. This forced him to give up his dreams of being a professional cook, and Tembi, too, focused on taking care of him.

Saro Gullo Died From Cancer in 2012

Saro Gullo passed away in 2012 after a hard battle with cancer. Following his diagnosis the first time, the treatment had worked to keep the illness at bay, though it also made it impossible for him to pursue a proper career. For ten years, Tembi cared for Saro, and despite the challenges in front of them, they weren’t held back from having the things that they’d always wanted. “I think one of the things that I learned is life is still happening all around us and for us, we’d always wanted to be parents,” Tembi said.

The pair adopted a child and named her Zoela, who developed a very close relationship with her father. After Saro’s demise, the mother and daughter went to Sicily to strengthen their bond with him and his family. Saro’s parents reconciled with him when they found out that he was sick. Over the years, Tembi and her in-laws, especially her mother-in-law, Croce Ortolano, worked on their relationship, which only got better after she and Zoela made Sicily their second home.

Saro is remembered fondly by his family and friends. On the first anniversary of his death, Tembi prepared a meal from the fava beans that he’d planted in their garden. As his last wish, she also scattered his ashes in his hometown in Sicily. As a way to process her grief, Tembi started writing about their love story and all the struggles they faced, and eventually turned it into a memoir. Believing that Saro is “smiling back on us today,” Tembi remembers him through food, which was his greatest passion, and shares their story of love, loss, and grief with others who might be going through a similar situation.

Read More: What Happened to Tembi Locke’s Mother-in-Law in Real Life?